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morningfog's Journal
morningfog's Journal
December 24, 2014

Officer Fatally Shoots Armed Man Near Ferguson, Mo., Police Say

A police officer in suburban St. Louis fatally shot a man who pointed a gun at him outside a gas station on Tuesday night, the authorities said.

The episode occurred less than five miles from Ferguson, Mo., where the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager in August by a white officer prompted months of protests and started a national conversation about race and the use of force by the police.

The St. Louis County Police said in a statement that a police officer from Berkeley, Mo., was doing “a routine business check” at a Mobil gas station near the St. Louis airport around 11:15 p.m. on Tuesday when he approached two men he saw along the building’s side.

“The Berkeley police officer exited his vehicle and approached the subjects when one of the men pulled a handgun and pointed it at the officer,” the county police department, which is leading the investigation, said in a statement. “Fearing for his life, the Berkeley officer fired several shots, striking the subject, fatally wounding him. The second subject fled the scene.”

The police said they had recovered a handgun at the scene.

Local news accounts and social media posts showed that a crowd of people had gathered outside the gasoline station after the shooting, and that a large group of police officers from several jurisdictions had responded.


It's the wild west out there. I would say that if someone did pull a gun and point it at a cop, the cop would be justified in shooting. But my question is, what was the basis of "the routine business check?" Why was the cop approaching that car and those men?

December 4, 2014

The fascists are winning.

Not only can cops kill black men with impunity. Not only can the killers cash in on their killing.

But, most tellingly, look at the expense and show of force deployed to crush any sign of solidarity and protest.

The fascists are winning. Or worse, they won.

November 26, 2014

Romney tops Republican poll for '16; ahead of Clinton in election

Mitt Romney, the Republican Party's unsuccessful presidential nominee in 2012, leads the field for the 2016 election among Republican voters, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released on Wednesday.

The former Massachusetts governor would have a slight edge over potential Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton by 45 percent to 44 percent in a general election, the poll found.

Among possible Republican candidates, Romney's 19 percent put him ahead of former Florida governor Jeb Bush with 11 percent, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Ben Carson each with 8 percent each, and U.S. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky with 6 percent.

Carson, a former neurosurgeon with no political experience, is a conservative commentator and author of "One Nation," which topped the New York Times best-seller list in June.

U.S. Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee all had 5 percent, while 16 percent of those questioned were undecided.


November 25, 2014

Darren Wilson, meanwhile, got married last month

Meanwhile, St. Louis County records released Monday indicate that Wilson got married last month, The New York Times first reported. He married another Ferguson Police Department officer, Barbara Spradling, on Oct. 24. He has been on paid leave since the shooting.


November 25, 2014

Itís Incredibly Rare For A Grand Jury To Do What Fergusonís Just Did

A St. Louis County grand jury on Monday decided not to indict Ferguson, Missouri, police Officer Darren Wilson in the August killing of teenager Michael Brown. The decision wasn’t a surprise — leaks from the grand jury had led most observers to conclude an indictment was unlikely — but it was unusual. Grand juries nearly always decide to indict.

Or at least, they nearly always do so in cases that don’t involve police officers.

Former New York state Chief Judge Sol Wachtler famously remarked that a prosecutor could persuade a grand jury to “indict a ham sandwich.” The data suggests he was barely exaggerating: According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. attorneys prosecuted 162,000 federal cases in 2010, the most recent year for which we have data. Grand juries declined to return an indictment in 11 of them.

Wilson’s case was heard in state court, not federal, so the numbers aren’t directly comparable. Unlike in federal court, most states, including Missouri, allow prosecutors to bring charges via a preliminary hearing in front of a judge instead of through a grand jury indictment. That means many routine cases never go before a grand jury. Still, legal experts agree that, at any level, it is extremely rare for prosecutors to fail to win an indictment.

“If the prosecutor wants an indictment and doesn’t get one, something has gone horribly wrong,” said Andrew D. Leipold, a University of Illinois law professor who has written critically about grand juries. “It just doesn’t happen.”


November 23, 2014

The Wilson grand jury will reconvene Monday, no decision yet

Despite claims to the contrary, the gran jury has not made a decision and will reconvene Monday. It is not clear whether all the evidence has been presented or I they are now in final deliberations.

Again, no one knows the outcome at this point. The governor's actions speak solely to his fear, not to his knowledge.


November 22, 2014

What response would an indictment of Wilson for voluntary manslaughter elicit?

What do you think?

I don't buy the conspiracy theorists that say the fix is in or that a decision has been made or that they outcome was known and pre-determined. As of this afternoon, the grand jury was still in session and had not yet reached a decision.

It is not impossible that they will reach or have reached a decision that charges Wilson with some criminal liability but is shirt of murder.

I think there will be some exercise of the rights of association and expression regardless of the outcome. How will those marches or protests look different if there is an indictment?

This is still the call of 9 of 12 individual citizens. It is up to them. I read nothing into the local and national cops girding their loins for war. That is indicative of nothing other than their racism and itch to fight. And Wilson negotiating a separation is as consistent with a concern that he is about to be indicted as it is that he is about to be absolved.

No one yet knows the outcome. How will it look if Wilson is indicted on some theory of homicide?

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